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Binational School Visit by Canadian & U.S.A. Students Highlights NYPA’s Celebration of Boundary Waters Treaty Centennial

Alexandra Post

June 8, 2009


LEWISTON—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) today presented a special program, for approximately 75 fifth-grade students from the United States of America (U.S.A.) and Canada, designed to provide an entertaining and educational way to understand the background and significance of the Boundary Waters Treaty Centennial. The students were from the Henry J. Kalfas Magnet Elementary School in the City of Niagara Falls and the Sheridan Park Public School in St. Catharines, Ontario.

In addition to the students’ visit, NYPA is sponsoring several other events during Boundary Waters Week, June 5-14, to commemorate this important environmental milestone.

“The Power Authority created today’s learning experience because it is important to bring together young people from the United States and Canada to celebrate the Boundary Waters Treaty and honor the 100 years of bi-national cooperation it signifies on behalf of our shared natural resources,” said NYPA President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel. “It is especially meaningful to pay tribute to the treaty, as the Power Authority remains focused on ways to protect the environment through its programs and operations.”

The students’ schedule for the day’s activities began with a tour of the Power Vista, the visitors center for NYPA’s Niagara Power Project, including a brief overview of how the Niagara project operates.  Afterwards, the students were treated to a presentation by Doug Draper, a Canadian journalist, who has written extensively about the Boundary Waters Treaty.  Following the presentation, students participated in interactive displays and experiments related to water pollution and conservation, water erosion, and energy efficiency.

The day culminated with the Canadian and U.S.A. students facing off in a Jeopardy-style game using information learned from the day’s program. 

As the City of Niagara was one of just two specific locations mentioned in the treaty, the city, with support from NYPA, is hosting various events all year that peak this month, and culminate with several events at the Niagara Power Project’s Power Vista. 

On June 5, NYPA began Boundary Waters Week, the week long Centennial celebration for the Boundary Waters Treaty, with a screening of a short informational video explaining the history and impact of the treaty on Western New York. Screenings will continue at 3 p.m. daily through June 13 at the Power Vista. A special children’s activity involving environmental themes runs simultaneously.

On June 13, NYPA will host the Centennial Celebration on the Rainbow Bridge at 10 a.m. and participate in an environmental fair at Goat Island (adjacent to the Top of the Falls Restaurant) from 12 noon – 5 p.m.

The Boundary Waters Treaty, signed in January 1909, was written to provide guidelines for resolving and preventing any disputes, mainly concerning the quality and quantity of water, along the border between the U.S.A. and Canada. The treaty was recognized as the world’s first environmental agreement and has become a model of bi-national governance. It continues to guide both the U.S.A and Canadian governments in their relationship and handling of their trans-boundary natural resources.

For more information on NYPA-sponsored events visit and for information on other Centennial celebrations visit

The Niagara project’s Power Vista features displays and interactive exhibits relating to the production of electricity, energy efficiency and the area’s history, as well as spectacular views from the observation deck, 350 feet above the Niagara Rive Gorge. Parking and admission at the Power vista are always free of charge.


About NYPA:

■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.   For more information,

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